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Get to know Laurel

Hiding among the trees in the Town of Southold, with just a tiny chunk straddling the border with Riverhead, you’ll find the lovely Laurel. Due to its somewhat liminal status, Laurel was known as the “Middle Ground” in its earliest incarnation. Later, it would be called Franklinville — after Ben Franklin — until the revelation of a town in Western New York going by the same name. To avoid postal issues, the North Fork’s Franklinville received the name we know it by today. Laurel is currently about as low-key as the North Fork gets, yet it still carries all the hallmarks that make folks love the region. Local wines sourced from local vines are always ready to pour and enjoy. Preserves near Laurel Lake and Husing Pond provide optimal trails for hiking, bird watching, and communing with nature. And as far as golf goes, well, it’s the East End — you’ll have no problems there.

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Living on the North Fork

As far as descriptive names go, it doesn’t get much more straightforward than the North Fork of Long Island. See where Long Island splits at Riverhead? Well, the North Fork is the piece to the north. Perceived as the more reserved sibling of the East End’s twin tines, the North Fork is no less enticing than the Hamptons — it’s just a different speed. Up here, there's a bonafide viticultural culture. Vineyards number in the dozens, thriving in the maritime climate. Long Island’s agricultural ancestry carries through to the present, as local growers sell produce, flowers, cheese, and other wares at farmstands throughout the area. It all — plus proximity to Connecticut and Rhode Island (bridged by the Cross Sound Ferry) — amounts to a vibe that hews closer to New England than it does New York. The North Fork can be an escape to another world, despite being under 100 miles away from where you departed.